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Statutory interpretation

Civil Law

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

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With The Legislature's Permission And The Supreme Court"S Consent, Common Law Social Host Liability Returns To Minnesota, Michael K. Steenson Jan 1995

With The Legislature's Permission And The Supreme Court"S Consent, Common Law Social Host Liability Returns To Minnesota, Michael K. Steenson

Faculty Scholarship

In 1990, the Minnesota Legislature amended the Civil Damage Act to allow for common law tort claims against persons 21 years old or older who knowingly provide alcohol to a person under 21 years of age. The 1990 amendment is unique because the legislature in effect appears to be releasing its stranglehold on liquor liability law, permitting the courts to apply common law negligence principles under the defined circumstances, but without providing any guidelines as to how the common law remedy should be formulated. The interpretive problems the amendment creates will eventually have to be resolved by the courts. The …